FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

All Hail Nero!

by MIKE ROSELLE

It is said that the Roman Emperor Nero played his Lyre as his city was engulfed by flames. This seems unlikely, and there are no credible witnesses. Nero does deserves some of the blame. Rome in 64 AD was a tinder box of wooden buildings and narrow, crowded streets and alleyways. A modern day fire marshal would have shut it down long before 64 and ordered some changes. No doubt Nero was also concerned about this, as the historian Tacitus informs us that the public thought Nero wanted to build a new city to name after himself. This is why he stands today accused by many of starting the fires that consumed much of the ancient Roman capitol. Whatever his skills as the ruler of a ruthless empire, he probably knew the city was susceptible to just such a fire.

I’m guessing that Nero was prevented from making any reforms that would have alleviated the danger by the entrenched political and economic interests of the day. No one wanted to give up their shops, homes, or storehouses in the name of creating a Rome safe from conflagration. It was more likely that it is these politicians who should be accused of “fiddling” while the city burned. I find it very unlikely that these elected officials knew nothing of the risk, but considered only the risk to their power if they attempted to do anything about it that might cause pain to their constituencies. Perhaps Nero deserves a pass on this one charge.

Our current President will not be judged so kindly by history. A recent e-mail, released by the White House under threat of subpoena, will explain why. Here are the bullet points of that December 5th memo outlining what the EPA determined to be facts. I hope your sitting down when you read this; here goes:

· "The Administrator believes that there is compelling and robust evidence that observed climate change can be attributed to the heating effect caused by global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

· "Based on the evidence before him, the Administrator believes it is reasonable to conclude current and future emissions of greenhouse gases will contribute to future climate change.

· "The Administrator is aware that the range of potential impacts that can result from climate change spans many elements of the global environment, and that all regions of the U.S. will be affected in some way.

· "The U.S. has a long and populous coastline. Sea level rise will continue, and exacerbate storm surge flooding and shoreline erosion.

"In areas where heat waves already occur, they are expected to be more intense, more frequent, and longer lasting.

· "Wildfires and the wildfire season are already increasing and climate change is expected to continue to worsen the conditions that facilitate wildfires.

· "Where water resources are already scarce and over-allocated in the Western U.S., climate change is expected to put additional strain on these water management issues for municipal, agricultural, energy and industrial uses.

· "Climate change also introduces additional stress on ecosystems which are already affected by development, habitat fragmentation, and broken ecological dynamics.

· "In sum, the Administrator is proposing to find that elevated levels of [greenhouse gas] concentrations may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public welfare."

George W Bush refused to let anyone in the White House even open the e-mail file that contained this statement. Undoubtedly, he’d knew every one of the points by this time, yet not only did he take no action, he suppressed the information.

Friends, it was torture that convinced me that the Bush/Chaney regime had no regard for the rule of law. One could be generous and say that in using torture they had our best interests in mind, protecting us from those who would and have done us harm, but that does not remove the stain criminality from the use of water boarding. But there is simply no way to construe from this EPA memo any effort to protect the public from a known danger.

It is a crime to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater. What is the crime of not shouting fire in that theater? What is the crime of muzzling those who do? Bush has muzzled the Fire Marshall and assisted in the arson that has killed many and will surely kill millions more.

I suggest that the new President hold off on closing the Guantanamo Prison. There is a place for criminals like these, and there is no greater form of justice than locking up despots in a prison of their own making. No need here for torture, just some time to think, to reflect and perhaps to repent.

MIKE ROSELLE is a roving correspondent for Lowbagger. He can be reached at: mikeroselle@hotmail.com

 

 


February 09, 2016
Andrew Levine
Hillary Says the Darndest Things
Paul Street
Kill King Capital
Ben Burgis
Lesser Evil Voting and Hillary Clinton’s War on the Poor
Paul Craig Roberts
Are the Payroll Jobs Reports Merely Propaganda Statements?
Fran Quigley
How Corporations Killed Medicine
Ted Rall
How Bernie Can Pay for His Agenda: Slash the Military
Kristin Kolb
The Greatest Bear Rainforest Agreement? A Love Affair, Deferred
Joseph Natoli
Politics and Techno-Consciousness
Hrishikesh Joshi
Selective Attention to Diversity: the Case of Cruz and Rubio
Stavros Mavroudeas
Why Syriza is Sinking in Greece
David Macaray
Attention Peyton Manning: Leave Football and Concentrate on Pizza
Arvin Paranjpe
Opening Your Heart
Kathleen Wallace
Boys, Hell, and the Politics of Vagina Voting
Brian Foley
Interview With a Bernie Broad: We Need to Start Focusing on Positions and Stop Relying on Sexism
February 08, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Privatization: the Atlanticist Tactic to Attack Russia
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital
John V. Walsh
Did Hillary’s Machine Rig Iowa? The Highly Improbable Iowa Coin Tosses
Vincent Emanuele
The Curse and Failure of Identity Politics
Eliza A. Webb
Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade
Uri Avnery
Optimism of the Will
Roy Eidelson Trudy Bond, Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo, Brad Olson, and Bryant Welch
Preserve Do-No-Harm for Military Psychologists: Coalition Responds to Department of Defense Letter to the APA
Patrick Cockburn
Oil Prices and ISIS Ruin Kurdish Dreams of Riches
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, the UN and Meanings of Arbitrary Detention
Shamus Cooke
The Labor Movement’s Pearl Harbor Moment
W. T. Whitney
Cuba, War and Ana Belen Montes
Jim Goodman
Congress Must Kill the Trans Pacific Partnership
Peter White
Meeting John Ross
Colin Todhunter
Organic Agriculture, Capitalism and the Parallel World of the Pro-GMO Evangelist
Ralph Nader
They’re Just Not Answering!
Cesar Chelala
Beware of the Harm on Eyes Digital Devices Can Cause
Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
Eoin Higgins
Please Clap: the Jeb Bush Campaign Pre-Mortem
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail